How Was Your Summer Vacation?

If you struggle with your relationship with money, you may find that a vacation is an illusive luxury that rarely make their way to your calendar. Or you may launch into a trip without being clear on what you can afford, and find yourself strapped when you return.  Vacations are crucial for renewing your perspective and replenishing your emotional resources, so it’s important to find ways to get away that are in alignment for you.

VacationBefore I go on any vacation, I create a spending plan.  I estimate how much I will need for transportation, lodging, food, entertainment, and gifts for myself and others.  Then I make sure that I have the money to cover it in my vacation savings account that I contribute to monthly.  Doing this makes me feel grounded and secure that I can afford the trip and will take care of my finances wisely.

My recent 11 day vacation turned out to be a pilgrimage of sorts that my husband and I took to Southern California to spend time with a number of friends and family, ending on the last weekend with a music festival that I played at in Joshua Tree.

Before leaving, I was nervous about the unknowns that I would encounter at all of the different places we stayed.  True confession: I’m very comfortable in my own home where my various needs and preferences are accommodated.  The thought of letting go of control to be in others’ environments was a bit unsettling. I was also worried about the 100 degree weather in Joshua Tree!

I brought my laptop because I knew I wanted to stay in touch with my business to some degree while I was away.  I don’t regret that at all.  But it took me several days to post my vacation response on my email.  A part of me felt resistant to taking time off.  Would it have a negative impact on my business?  What would my clients think?

The vacation began to reveal itself in the wonderful connections I was making, the beautiful surroundings, and the fun, carefree days.  My inner GPS was telling me clearly that I was on vacation, and it was good.

I slowly let it in as we traveled from LA to San Diego over a period of 5 days, staying with different friends and family.  A highlight was my step-mom’s 85th birthday party. Her relatives from Switzerland had made the trip and it was wonderful to see them for the first time in about 10 years.

The finale of the pilgrimage was Bhakti Fest, a sacred music festival with thousands of people coming together to sing devotional music and practice yoga.  It was hot, yes – but what stands out in my memory are the beautiful connections I made, the incredible music I danced and sang to, and the joy of offering my own music with all my heart.

I drove the long trip home by myself – my first long road trip in many years.  It was good to know that I still have it in me, and the time alone was fortifying.

When I got home I felt changed.  I had overcome my fears and had a new perspective. I was ready to jump back into my life with a wholehearted sense of purpose and attention.  A number of new people have come into my practice and I’m joyfully doing the work I love – helping people heal their relationship with money so they can live fulfilling lives and bring their gifts to the world.

It doesn’t take a ton of money to create an adventure, make meaningful connections with loved ones, or surround yourself with beauty.  A vacation can be an opportunity to stretch outside of your comfort zone and learn something new about yourself that you can bring back to your family, your work, and people you meet along the way.  How was your summer vacation?